CNN: I Was There and Ready to Talk

CNN: I Was There and Ready to Talk

By Gracie Gean Bagosy Young

Gracie Gean Bagosy Young

Gracie Gean Bagosy Young

When your producers contacted me about coming onto the Prescription Addiction show, I was flattered and very thankful!  I’ll admit, I was also surprised. Mainstream media is in a frenzy about the evils of prescription pain medication. The last thing I expected was for the Anderson Cooper show to reach out to me, a Chronic Pain Advocate. However, CNN boasts “Anderson Cooper 360° goes beyond headlines to tell stories in-depth and from multiple points of view.” I was excited that this might be our chance to explain the difference between an addict and a chronic pain patient that may or may not have developed a physical dependence.

I was told very clearly that I was not guaranteed to be able to speak. Your producer told me that I would be notified just prior to the show if I was selected to speak. That notification never came. I still held out hope! Maybe I would be able to slip in a few words. Maybe during a break I would slide in a comment! That’s the thing about chronic pain patients. We have an abundance of HOPE. Hope for pain relief, hope for cures, hope for a better tomorrow.

I wonder why you invited chronic pain advocates at all if you did not intend to allow us to represent our community.

I am really disappointed that the show did not represent that 360° view as advertised. The doctors on the show spent a good deal of time discussing gateways. I propose that you use the Prescription Addiction: Made in the USA show as the gateway into another conversation that begs to be heard. Let’s discuss the CHRONIC pain community. We are the community that is being punished by these new regulations.

You can’t see our illnesses. Chronic pain is invisible. We are everywhere. We have a lot of skin in the game-and that skin is on fire! Please help give us a voice.

Gracie Gean Bagosy-Young is Director of Take Control of Your Pain – at the US Pain Foundation and is a guest columnist for us at the National Pain Report

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There are 30 comments for this article
  1. Carol levy at 1:37 pm

    I didnt real all the comments but many of us did tweet and contact the show in other ways. I havent seen one response. I dont know if anyone else did (in fact I was tweeting to them during the show about studies prove those with chronic pain rarely become addicted, etc). I get the feeling they are not interested in our side of it, it is not “sexy”.
    I have contacted shows thruout the years regarding the world turning teal for trigeminal neuralgia awareness day, my book, (a pained life, a chronic pain journey), women in pain (I am founder administrator women in pain awareness group on FB, and very often the issue of chronic pain patients being the scapegaots and victims of the “war on drugs”.
    Even when producers or reporters have promised to get back to me/follow up, they have never done so.
    My nephew is a TV meteorologist. I have asked him how do I get the attention of the producer’s. He told me how to pitch but still no one cared.
    I don;t know what the answer is.
    But I am very tired of us being given the back of the hand, that is when we are noticed at all.
    (Even when the UN Disability treaty included those with chronic pain under invisible disabilities, and that it was the UN, they didnt give a hoot)

    Carol Jay Levy, B.A., CH.t
    author A PAINED LIFE, a chronic pain journey
    Women In Pain Awareness Group
    accredited to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities member U.N. NGO group, Persons With Disabilities

  2. Kay at 10:09 am

    I recorded this and watched it last night. I knew before I turned it on that it would anger and upset me, and I was correct. I don’t disagree that abusers are a problem, and my heart broke for the ones who had lost their children, and the mom with the now disabled son. If I remember correctly, they only allowed that one older woman to speak for the PRO side of opioid pain management.

    The thing that bothers me the most is that all of the doctors, etc. seem to believe in a blanket, across-the-board prescription for chronic pain management, which rrally ISNT pain management. And this just does not work!

    I saw my pain management doctor this week, and sure enough, he increased my long acting meds and drastically reduced my breakthroughs. He was telling me *all doctors are facing sanctions or loss of their licenses if they don’t do this with EVERY patient. I have to get EVERY patient down to 3 or 4 a day*. I actually told him I disagreed that it meant *every single patient*. He disagreed.

    I’ve been his patient for 20 years. I’ve tried to avoid increasing my dosages and over this time have only gone from hydrocodone, then after several years on it to long acting meds with breakthrough meds: then a stronger breakthrough med when I began having more problems and surgeries . He introduced Levorphanol the month before as a way to reduce my other meds. The 1st night I broke out in hives, and continued to do so for the few weeks I took it. I photographed them. Also, at first I thought it was a placebo, because I noticed no difference whatsoever; then I got the claim statement! What he told me was a CHEAP drug cost my insurance company $3200.00! My other meds that I’ve been on cost them about $200.00.

    I typed up a log, including dates and the photos and side effects I had (which included a big increase in wheezing since I have asthma) and gave it AND the claim statement to him. He said *well, you definitely can’t take this, do a 3 day taper and stop taking it*.

    Then he increased one drug and cut another. I voiced my concerns about changing my meds because it makes it very hard to control post op pain. I’ve had about 20 surgeries over the last 20 years, I’m probably facing a FIFTH foot surgery because my bones won’t fuse.

    When I watched this show last night I was SO hoping they would have more than one person from the audience speaking FOR us. I think the entire show was geared towards the negative, throw in Pinsky and Gupta, and you know it’s negative. I also disagree with what they said about opioids NOT being effective for long term use for chronic pain. I’m living, breathing PROOF they DO work. I feel for those who lost people due to ABUSE, but it wasn’t a fair cross section of people, they only wanted us to hear the evils, the bad stories, NOT the success stories of those of us whose lives have been BETTERED through pain management.

    At the least, I hope the show will provoke a show or conversations or genuine research into the positive effects of opiods.

  3. Krissy at 5:07 pm

    Paula, forgive me, but do you live somewhere other than the US? If you knew how tirelessly “we” are working to express ourselves, you’d have been around to see it. Your comment sounds like a blame on the pain community! If you need some places to go and read what we, as pain patients are doing, everyday, devoting hours and hours lying in bed working on this, let me know and I’ll hook you up. Otherwise, join the program and help! It sounds more like you are the one sitting by and waiting for another patient to take a step for you. Well, we are.

    If you don’t live in the US, then I retract my statement completely. If you do, I sure hope you will come on board and fight with us, after learning what we do.

  4. Krissy at 4:44 pm

    MR. WILLIAMS

    Do you know about anything like this: my pharmacist knows I am doing research and advocating in this field, so he came to me the other day and told me Medicare is reimbursing them less than their cost of the medication for some meds. He said that the big box stores are going along with it because people come in and usually buy several things, so they can easily absorb the loss. But the little guys will go out of business because of this. Ring any bells???

    Thanks,
    Krissy

  5. John Dempsey Jr. at 10:40 am

    I am a victim of the political war on pain medication . I have been made to feel like I am a junky since all opiate meds have been demonized by the media . I have a permanent injury that left me with chronic pain. I have had 4 back surgeries over the course of 30 years and have been prescribed pain medication on and off depending on my condition. All i ever wanted was to have corrective treatments and be able to return to work which I was able to do until 2008 when I had a fusion procedure on the advice of several doctors . I am now 60 years old and have horrible pain 24 hours a day . The surgeons told me there was nothing more they could do so I have been in pain management ever since . The opioid medications provided enough relief so that I can walk and do simple things that people take for granted . The state is now setting limits on doctors and what they can prescribe . For that reason , my meds have been lowered to the point where I can not get out of bed sometimes 2 to 3 times a week . My life is not a party and because a small percentage of people that are abusing them are making my life a living hell . There are times that I pray to not wake up rather than experience excruciating pain all day . I have become depressed and now see a psychiatrist because the quality of my life is getting worse . This is a witch hunt that effects people like me who use pain medication as prescribed and have no history of mis-using or abusing these types of meds !

  6. S Williams at 10:33 pm

    Hello I wanted to post more information to anyone willing to read

    Working for a Major Blue Cross Blue Shield for over twenty years and advising members their benefits before I became disabled due to several issues. I am gonna put this out there I talk to a lot of people in waiting rooms and on sites when I can get the energy to post. We need to educate ourselves Like they are. Doctors, health insurance and assistance agencies.

    simple guidelines here

    If a Doctor request you get a procedure done Make sure you get the name of the procedure, a procedure code if they have it. and a diagnosis code they are wanting to use as the reason you are getting the procedure done.

    here are the reasons why:

    1. All procedures, and Doctor/providers should be verified with your health insurance provider. Just because a Doctor says you need it, it might not be covered the Doctor doesn’t know what your insurance will pay for.

    2. Another thing some health insurance companies have what we call service policy bulletins, where special guidelines are in place if a doctor states you need something done with a qualify diagnoses code.

    3. If your Doctor is going to prescribe you a new medication and you go to the Pharmacy and now it can’t be covered or needs a authorization. You can cut a lot of the hassles in half by contacting your Pharmacy benefits on the back of your ID card.

    Now your wondering..why would this medication need a authorization? Medications are placed in a Tier system with health insurance Pharmacy, Calling your Pharmacy/prescription health insurance provider they can go in a lot of detail on Tiers and authorizations

    Always call your health insurance to verify info, Always call your prescription provider to verify if a authorization is needed.

    Now lets say you live on a limited income and you are prescribed a medication, Insurance will not cover it but your Doctor says you need it. Contact the medication supplier sometimes they will help but you need to verify if you qualify with them.

    Also search the internet, Contact your County Assistance office and so on, a lot of information is out there to help you just need to educate yourself..when you are told of a procedure or medication and nothing is verify or confirmed with your health insurance. This can cause you a lot of UN-needed stress there are so many vestibules with medication and procedures.

    Also always Verify if the Doctor, hospital, Pharmacy or Specialties is IN NETWORK…

    if you have a question please let me know. I can do so much but there is alot of other People out there that have worked like I have that might be able to add to this information.

    thank you

  7. Joni at 10:53 am

    Krissy, thank you so much for responding to my post. I have not researched p.m. clinics yet, but i will certainly try that as well. I have been to 3 p.m. doctors and they each have been worse than the previous. They treat me like an addict and that just isnt the case. The first dr put me on suboxone. I had no idea what it was and they preached to me how it would change my life completely so i stupidly went along with it. It did absolutely nothing. I asked them about injections, neurostimulators, etc. Nothing else what offered so i left. My research did open my eyes to what drs are doing with this drug and the kickbacks and more. It was disgusting to be their guinea pig and to be “violated” in that manner. The next p.m. told me i had morphine in the urine test! What?? Dont have any and knew it was a mistake. After researching that, i found out about false positives particularly with morphine and that some of my other meds im taking for other health issues could have caused that. The dr refused to retest me and dismissed me as a patient. I can go on and on. I am being overlooked and lost in a system. I cry every single day because of my pain which is just getting worse. I am not in any facebook group at this point but would like to do so. I also have saved all the articles i have been finding. Seems as though no one really cares what i have to say. I would like to talk on facebook or private message if you are okay with that. My email is jonileddy4444@ gmail.com. Thank you for the support and understanding i cant get from anyone.

  8. Krissy at 9:48 am

    Joni – a lot can have to do with where you live these days. If you are on a Facebook group in your area, it can be helpful to have people try to get you some Dr. names. Do you have a pain management clinic? That doesn’t necessarily mean they will prescribe, however, if you arm yourself, it may help.

    If you need help finding a FB group in your area, let me know.
    Write your story! If you’re up to it, write your story and submit it here on national pain report to the “My Story” section. Read some of the others to see what people are saying. They want to hear what you have, how you’ve been treated, your surgery, when your problems started and why, if you know, etc. Think about bringing your story to the doctor’s office along with some pertinent articles from this site and others. We’d be happy to help…any one of us. It’s hard, we all know! Start with where you live and Facebook… And let me know if you need help by replying to this. We can then communicate through FB.

  9. Joni at 7:22 pm

    The more i read about this massive problem we are facing, the more helpless i feel. My chronic back pain after 2 surgeries just gets worse on a daily basis and i still cant obtain any pain meds. As a new patient to pain management doctors, i cannot get one doctor to help me. They are all afraid. My life is ruined as i cannot enjoy even going to a short dinner out as i can no longer sit in a chair. How do i get one of these doctors to help me??!! Im not an addict. I just want a little relief. It is a silent epidemic and a silent torture. Help!

  10. Kathy Cooper at 1:14 pm

    Krissy,
    i am sorry that they were so dismissive, and for the amount of energy it took you to be there. It is very clear to me that there is a narrative and anyone who disagrees with it is superfluous if not downright worthy of either contempt or condescension. The only Doctor they want to hear form rare the one on Board with this false narrative. The Media has been playign a one sided narrative on this and so many other issues. It should be time that people wake up. Shows like this are “Info- tainment” they no longer show any context, or facts. They use the same format as Advertising and most Americans can’t tell the difference.
    There are some huge benefactors to this False Narrative the biggest is the Health Care industry, pain is inconvenient for them and cuts into profits. The Insurance Industry has been trying for years to discredit or ignore people who are left in pain. Recently Pro Public did a Study on Hospitals and the number of Negative Outcomes, Nearly one in Three Patient Interactions with Hospital have a negative Outcome. This should be Front Page News, but is barely mentioned in any Mainstream Media. This is just one example of the false reporting on the For Profit Healthcare Industry.
    This Agenda is so powerful that Doctors who disagree are afraid to speak up, their careers would be ruined. Many of them have essential signed gag Orders with their employers, few are independent anymore, they work for these monolithic Providers. In many situations they barely write anything down, because anything could reflect negatively on the Health Care Industry. I have noticed this at the VA, and those “Clinics” where many Medicaid/Medicare Patients have been forced to go since many doctors have opted out of the ACA and the low re-imbursement rates. This is another area where the Media is misdirecting the public. They use faulty data to make it appear that the ACA is working, while people do have Insurance now, they do not have much choice in Doctors, so they are funneled to Clinic where only the most basic healthcare is provided, and Doctors give them the Bums rush.
    I noticed in one Local News Article about the “drug Epidemic” where a Clinical Director and Doctor were both essentially bragging about turning away anyone with “New Back Pain” in that clinic every symptom is “New” because they don’t make any note form the last visit. I also know one of this Doctors’ patients reported back pain for 2 years, until she was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. These are the stories they omit. They never report on how many people were denied Medical care because of this, or how many needed further Medical Attention that was either postponed or denied because they assumed the Patient was a drug addict, not a senior citizen with Kidney Cancer. That same Article was promoting “Alternative Medicine” which may help some people, but not much has any clinical evidence at all. I know from personal experience that I spent thousands of dollars on Chiropractic and other treatments as many other pain patients have before resorting to conventional Medicine.
    The other Industry that will make Billions on this is the Insurance Industry, since pain is a symptom that make people seek medical attention, and is often the result of an injury. Workman’s Comp alone would be able to deny thousands of people. Currently the population is aging, and there are a lot of Seniors with Multiple Surgeries, who live in pain. There are also the people who work in those Big Box Stores and all of those low paying under insured jobs. The ones who are Injured are left with pain, due to the Injury. This is a lot of people, and a lot of money. If they can deny jsut 10% of these Insurance Claims that is a staggering amount.
    We have to be careful, the issue is about so much more than pain, is is about Profits. The Amount of money spent to mislead the public is staggering. Also the amount of money they have to direct how Medical Care is delivered, is enough to buy Politicians, and influence public Policy. It seems pretty clear the Media only covers stories that confirm their narrative, whether is is generating profits through the Medical Industry or denying the existence of pain. The sordid stories about drug addiction scares the public and attracts their attention. The narrative about Prescription Drugs, and the Number of deaths is frightening. It is a symptoms of a bigger problem. These parents victims who died whether it was suicide or drug overdose want someone to blame. This dovetails nicely with the Health Care Industries Agenda. While it looked like they are scrutinizing Big Pharma over the “Prescription drug Epidemic” they are actually promoting the use of new ineffective and expensive drugs. This narrative should be scaring people, certainly they must know people who were injured, or suffered form some disease. People who benefit from Opiates have be silenced.
    Many of these Ideas were first promoted in “Opinion Pieces” in Reputable News Papers, they used these dramatic false Numbers and Statements. These got repeated as fact, and the misstatement was never countered and facts were never introduced. The Media has gotten called out recently due to the one sided Presidential Campaign coverage, yet no in is looking at these other issues, where they have consistently misled the public. We live in dangerous times. The Hysteria seems to be taking over. Americans are in fear of everything, and ignorance is winning. What else are they lying about?

  11. S Williams at 6:53 pm

    I’m a chronic pain patient, but for twenty years prior to having the conditions that are giving me the chronic pain I would sit on the phone taking 70-80 calls a day advising Health Insurance members their benefits. I understand the abuse of our pain medications and the lives its costing in this country, the blame starts with the Providers and trickles down the line and this has been proven several times over in reports and television shows. This in turn has set new CDC guidelines that now remove the only relief we have medications. Now I bring up where and what I used to due because I foresee another problem that is going to slowly but surely sneak up and also bite us in the end. Alternative medicine and Home Health Assistance and Care, as the medications are being taken away from Chronic Pain patients other means would be useful or could help (Message, Acupuncture, Herbal medicines [apothecary]) Also, items for your home, Hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, shower assistance devices, bathtub assistance and for both shower and tub total changes to make them acceptable, Even Swimming, hot tub, sauna, and Lastly lets also address home improvement from kitchens cabinets, to ramps and car upgrading for wheel chair assistance, Also home cleaning, care, and nursing unless they decide are they not going to ask health insurance to help cover listed items and maybe place us in assisted living or nursing homes. I do not think the government has any idea that taking away Chronic pain medications is going to lead to what I listed above, are they even aware of what Health Insurance will and will not cover even things like a simple message is not a covered Item. I do not feel they have fully looked into what removing pain medication management is going to cost and the fact our health insurance providers are not going to allow us to use or have means to things that would and could assist with pain medication treatment. As a Chronic pain patient I know the thoughts that have gone through my head that I’ve dealt with I was lucky to have a provider/doctor that addressed the fears that anyone who learns their lives are now going to be nothing but pain so I had help when it was needed. But is the government going to be able to handle suicides by chronic pain patients because they no longer will have the relief medication gave them or how medication gave them a quality of life that they themselves that make up the changes that affect us are now living? I do not foresee any Law maker, CDC, Senator, Congressman or so on understanding even a tiny bit of what we live until they walk in our shoes.

  12. Paula Sheerin at 3:09 pm

    Maybe something radical is called for: pain groups to get together and hold a public meeting at an appropriate place in Washington. If you don’t do something to take control of the conversation, it will be too late.

    That’s too late for all of us because what the U.S. and the FDA do, other countries follow and yet we in Europe have even less representation than you in what is being decided. We pain patients over here are totally frustrated watching this happen and like a nightmare we can’t wake up and change the script.

    Remember that for evil to be done, it’s enough that good men (and women) do nothing. You can’t go on waiting for someone to give you a forum and an invitation to speak: take your power in your hands and use it.

    There are millions of pain patients affected in the U.S. alone, are you going to continue talking with each other or are you willing to put in the work to shape your own futures?

  13. Cerys at 2:42 pm

    An abundance of hope? Um. No. A fair number of people in severe chronic pain have little to no hope left at all.

    It’s not surprising that CNN followed Obama’s talking points on the issue. Or that the addiction specialists eager to pad their earnings (despite a lack of evidence their interventions actually work) would grab at any opportunity.

    But I am honestly confounded by semi-professional pain advocates expressing they were “honored” or “flattered” at being invited. It might have made a much bigger statement had the “largest pain advocacy group” DECLINED to attend given the obvious lack of commitment by the producers to providing airtime. Perhaps then the producers might have been forced to make a statement acknowledging that. Nothing in the current climate gives credence to “hoping” for rational open-minded discussion.

    The oft-referenced “spoon theory” admonishes people in pain to utilize limited energies wisely. And in exercising that judgment, to educate others About what can (or cannot) be reasonably expected of us. I’m not sure “hope” is a valid enough reason to deplete physical, mental, and financial resources – or give the impression to the producers at CNN that it’s no big hardship to attend. Perhaps it’s not for some.

    But it is a hardship for those nearly bankrupt, battling despair, and wondering if our suffering even matters to the chronic pain advocates purporting to “represent” us. I apologize for sounding bitter, it’s nice of the author to want to help. But the advocacy community – and US Pain in particular – might take a minute to recognize the ways they aren’t listening either.

  14. John Dempsey Jr. at 6:18 am

    Chronic pain patients are being hung out to dry because of a small percentage of mostly young people who discovered that taking their grandparents pain medication would enhance their buzz while drinking beer in the park . This type of behaviour has demonized people who take pain medication as prescribed when all other alternatives have failed . Chronic pain patients now are forced to carry the “stigma” of being junkies when their lives are the furthest thing from being a party . It is now a political issue instead of being what it truly is and that is a medical problem . If it was discovered that insulin could be abused , would we consider diabetics to be drug addicts and deny them their medication ? This has turned in to a witch hunt and to deny legitimate pain patients access to the medication that allows them to do the most simple tasks , that most people take for granted . It is shameful to allow people to suffer and be treated as criminals by denying them medications . What a shame !

  15. Pain at 4:28 pm

    Gracie,

    I am sorry that happened. That had to be disheartening. Thank you for taking the invitation and going up there though. And, the person with chronic pain being shut out like that may spark further conversation – since it happened on national news. My guess- they wanted to say that people with Chronic pain were invited and represented among the conversation. The agenda was far from that. Politics, money and a moment of fame was what it’s about. Disgusting.

  16. Kurt WG Matthies at 2:47 pm

    Gracie, to be frank, CNN lied.

    The panel was stacked against us. The one person in pain who had a chance to speak was interrupted, and her journey was minimized by the “experts.”

    The American news media is not yet interested in our story.

    We must change this. We must wake the sleeping, educate the ignorant, and open the hearts and minds of the dispassionate opiophobe who would turn their back to the millions suffering in daily intractable pain.

    Mark Ibsen is telling anyone who’ll listen: “there’s a Pulitzer in this.”

    Unraveling the opioid crisis and identifying the pain epidemic as our nation’s #1 public health problem will require some serious journalism, backed by research and clinical history.

    I am committed to telling that story. So are many others. We shall not be denied and the truth will be told.

    We will find way’s to reach America’s heart and we will make her understand.

    So many are suffering. So many are confused. So many feel they have neither a choice nor a voice in their misery.

    That’s what we advocates provide — a voice that speaks for those suffering people who feel powerless against the oppression of their pain.

    I am so proud of each and every advocate who tells our story that I am sometimes driven to tears.

    CNN be damned. Today their ears are closed, but someday, they will clamor after that which we know and can tell them.

    It is indeed a privilege to be a voice for those who live with Chronic Intractable Pain, and I am comforted in knowing that I am not alone in my work of telling our story.

    With our love and support, carry on Gracie, and thank you for the important work that you do on our behalf.

  17. joni at 1:10 pm

    Saying that i am frustrated would be quite an understatement. I have been diagnosed with failed back syndrome, which is just a fancy name for not being able to get out of pain after 2 back surgeries. I had to stop working, retire and apply for disability at 54 because it has gotten so bad. Trying to find a competent pain management dr has been quite the ordeal. First dr put me on suboxone and i guess i was just naieve to the fact that wasnt for me and was being treated as an addict instead of a pain patient. After another bad experience, i finally found a dr that seemed to empathize and would help me offering an injection in an area i hadnt had yet. I was hopeful but that soon came to an end. My urine showed morphine and codeine in my system. What?? I hadnt taken either but the dr wouldnt treat me. I have since done a lot of research finding that other meds i am taking probably caused this false positive. Because our government is so focused on the addicts, they have forgotten about us pain patients who need help and are finding it almost impossible. Still no dr, still no help…..just suffering.

  18. Doug at 12:57 pm

    Gracie, I found the show to be a huge slap in the face to you and the entire chronic pain community. I made sure that I made that point to both producers and on their Facebook feed. As a matter of fact I even had one particular opiophobe call me UNBELIEVABLY IGNORANT, and our fellow painers jumped right back at him with real medical statistics instead of the imaginary stats of the CDC.
    One thing I can honestly say about us is that, while we struggle every day to survive in severe pain, a very large amount of us are fed up with the negative rhetoric circulating throughout the media. Many of the Facebook pain groups are writing letters to their elected officials and still getting negative or sidesteping responses from them. But we aren’t giving up! Snail mail, email, comments on all there social media and even faxes, what ever it takes, we need to load their mailboxes up with our concerns, especially to those seeking re-election in November.
    As far as Anderson Cooper goes, write shows like Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes on CNN’s competition, MSNBC. I’ve sent emails asking them if they would like to report the whole truth and real statistics regarding the opioid epidemic compared to chronic pain. Hopefully will get an answer back.

  19. Lucia at 12:33 pm

    Thank you again Gracie, for being our advocate. This is an excellent diplomatic letter to them(CNN 360°).
    To me it’s troubling that you were not on their agenda to speak. Did they just have you on the list of attendees, to give the illusion of being all inclusive? That this topic was presented by CNN, and EVEN a Chronic Pain patient advocate was there, but the consensus is Opioid prescription use causes addiction and overdoses. They used their “guest speakers” to support their agenda. This was NOT a discussion on how to support Chronic Pain patients. The viewer walked away with the message that opioids are harmful, and kill. Well yes they do, but those statistics do NOT apply to the pt. Those stats are from the addicts, taking them in a harmful amounts.

  20. Robert G Poe at 11:53 am

    They never talk about the real issues that go alone with CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS. They are addicts, used by healthcare professionals, scientists, the general public, family members, friends and co-workers.

    So, what is it. ADDICTION, PHYISICAL, DEPENDENCE or TOLERANCE?

    I looked up the definition of ADDICTION this is what it said. “ADDICTION IS A PRIMARY, CHRONIC, NEUROBIOLOGIC DISEASE, WITH GENETIC, PSYCOSOCIAL, AND ENVIORMENTAL FACTORS….”

    Dr. Edward Covington, MD, Director of the Chronic Pain Rehabilition Program at yhe Cleveland Clinic explained Adiction can be identified by the 3 C’s—-Craving or loss of Control.

    I could go on and on but it boils down to this: the GOOD PEOPLE WHO SUFFER WITH THIS DEBILITATING, AWFUL AND CHRONIC DESEASE, will never be taken serious until we stop being put inthe same category with the ABUSERS of opiode medication.

  21. Paula Barber at 9:56 am

    I refused to watch the CNN report because I knew in my heart that it was not a fair and accurate “report” and I would have been angered and distraught by it. I hate that they treated you that way, but am I surprised? NO! I hate the fact that there is no media outlet, major private or governmental agency, pain management doctor or clinic, pain advocate, etc. are allowed to speak for us, show our side! Every time they try they are silenced. Reports are ignored and discounted. I know Drs are as afraid as we are. If they speak out they may become a target and then their patients will suffer. I wish I knew what to say or do to turn the tide. There are no studies or research to back up the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of long term opioid use to treat chronic intractable pain. Why? I don’t know what else we can do to help ourselves…no government official or agency is listening…

  22. Carol at 9:25 am

    Gracie, did you post your letter (above) on CNN FB? We need to find sites that might read your letter that isn’t pain patient sites. We need to post on sites that would do the most good.
    It is very terrible that you had to go through that experience. CNN protected themselves by telling you they would let you know if you would be to talk. You can’t use a lawyer because of that. We are all scared.
    Thanks Gracie

  23. Krissy at 8:33 am

    Gracie, I am so sorry for you and all of us that you did not get a chance to represent those of us in pain they way you should have been. This is just another dig in the side we keep getting over and over again. CNN 360 just lost a few degrees, but we lost a lot more. Thank you so much for being there and making the travel (which is so hard and exhausting). We’ll keep fighting everyday. Maybe it’s time for us to ignore the news organizations in a loud way through our writing and commenting, and get closer to some good attorneys!

  24. Chrystal at 7:55 am

    That show was an absolute farce. And for you to travel all that way just to sit there listening to what amounted to an attack on the evils of pain medication, must have been emotionally excruciating.

    The show did a great job repeating the government’s propaganda. The CDC could have produced the exact same show! Thanks CNN and Anderson Cooper. Great one sided reporting. You could have done the entire show in one sentence: Opioid based pain medication is evil and basically the same thing as heroin.

  25. Martha Arntson at 6:52 am

    GRACIE: I too was expecting to hear more from the audience instead of the topic “Gateway Drugs” that they put as the headlines. It was touted to be a forum like no other, with every aspect of pain management and Opioid Addiction addressed. From what I saw (and have read many updates since the airing of the show) is that they excluded chronic pain patients from getting their point of view out there. It was more of an OBAMA forum to push through his new guidelines and stop all prescribing of opiates other than for end-of-life situations or short term pain relief from car accidents, surgery, etc., maximum dosing for 3-5 days. I find it appalling that CNN went right along with the Government’s newest Platform, to let us ONLY SEE THE SIDE THEY WANT US TO SEE, that their opinion is that any opiate use leads to such horrible addiction (heroin). That is UNTRUE and where they got their information is NOT ACCURATE!

  26. Joshua L. Tarbuck at 6:41 am

    I’m 27, vehicle accident rendered me disabled with a broken neck and back. I was given opiods in the hospital instead of medical cannabis. It angers me that I was not given an alternative even when cannabis was legal. I’m fuzed from c1 to c3 and T1 to T4. Got off all opiods use myself without help from doctors.

  27. scott michaels at 4:10 am

    I believe since you got shafted like that on national TV. I BELIEVE YOU ARE IN A GREAT POSITION.
    Im sure they made you sign release of liability forms, but that does not mean you cant get back at them. There sre shows like THE VIEW AND MANY OTHER MONRING SHOWS THAT WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR STORY. TAKE A FEW MINUTES AND SEND A COPY OF THE SEGMENT TO THE PRODUCERS OF EVERY MORNING SHOW. IM SURE A COUPLE OF THEM WILL GIVE YOU TIME., CNN HURT YOU AND MISREPRESENTED THEIR REASON FOR HAVE YOU ON THE SHOW. I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY OR AN AGENT, BUT I DO KNOW HOW THIS STUFF WORKS. ie kim clark.
    Please tak e advantage and be our voice
    Thank you.
    ps theyre lucky they didnt choose me, i would have called pinsky on his B.S. I believe he is personally responsible for many death from over dosing. His rate of recovery is 3% yet he comes off as a wozard.
    drug addicts never get cured and seek out more and can necer get enough until they die, end up in hail or hospital. WE TAKE OUR MEDICATION AS DIRECTED, DONT NOT USE THEM FOR A HIGH AND WE ARE DEFINITELY NOT A MINORITY.
    SORRY FOR YOUR EXPERIENCE, BUT THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO REALLY GET YOU VOICE HEARD.